[ Grathe Heath]

Grathe Heath

On 28 October 1157, the armies of King Valdemar and King Svend clashed in a decisive battle on Grathe Heath, 25 kilometres south of Viborg. This huge battle ended with Valdemar as the victor. Shortly afterwards, Svend was captured in a nearby bog, exhausted and weak with hunger. A peasant recognised him, took the matter resolutely in hand, raised his axe and clove Svend's head in two. The dead king was buried in Grathe Chapel. Valdemar was now the only king in Denmark after eleven years of civil war. A five-metre-high memorial was erected on Grathe Heath in 1892.

Svend, Knud and Valdemar

  • Story written by: Henning Ringgaard Lauridsen
  • Time / Periode 1157

The Battle of Grathe Heath meant the end of many years of war and bloodshed in Denmark. The rival kings, Svend, Knud and Valdemar, had pitted Danes from Skåne, Zealand and Jutland against each other to take control of the whole realm. Svend had murdered Knud and wounded Valdemar, and now came the final day of reckoning. With his victory, King Valdemar the Great established enough calm to rebuild Denmark. Now, with the help of his henchman Bishop Absalon, he could whip the country's foreign enemies into line. The pagan Wends in the Baltic countries had ravaged and tyrannised the Danish coasts for years. Valdemar fortified the country with solid castles and his naval fleet mounted effective expeditions into foreign countries.

Read more about Grathe Heath at 1001fortællinger.dk